Pack these ingredient mixes before your next trip to reduce meal preparation time and to save space in your galley cabinets.
By Janet Groene, F47166
When you leave home with ingredients premixed, you spend less time in the galley and you also don’t have to haul around staples that may go stale by the end of the travel season. With homemade mixes you can leave out salt, reduce sugar, kick up the hot spices, or otherwise accommodate special tastes or diets.
Here are some ways to put the fix on a mix. Be sure to carry a copy of instructions for completing the mix, and don’t forget to take ingredients needed to complete the recipe.
Juanita Mitchell’s Oatmeal Cookies With Fruit
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
½ cup golden raisins or chocolate chips
2/3 cup coconut flakes
Thoroughly wash and dry a quart-size, wide-mouth canning jar. Add the ingredients starting with the flour and ending with the coconut, pressing firmly after each addition. Make the layers as even as possible.
To make the cookies:
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the contents of the jar in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside. In another bowl, cream the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend well. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoons on an ungreased baking sheet, two inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Let the cookies cool for five minutes, then remove them from the baking sheet and cool on racks. The cookies can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
Juanita Mitchell’s Farm House Soup Mix In A Jar
Thanks to FMCA member Juanita Mitchell of Norwalk, Ohio, for a recipe that works well in the motorhome and also can be put in a pretty jar for gift giving. Assemble this soup mix at home and you’ll always have a quick meal on hand in the motorhome. Unlike popular 15-bean soup mixes, this one does not require long soaking and cooking times.
Put in a plastic bag:
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 beef bouillon cubes
Use a funnel to layer these ingredients in a jar:
½ cup quick-cooking barley
½ cup split peas
½ cup raw rice (not instant)
½ cup dry lentils
½ cup alphabet pasta
½ cup flavored spiral macaroni
To make the soup:
3 quarts water
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 cups diced tomatoes (canned tomatoes can be used)
Put all of the ingredients in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Juanita said, “I like to keep two jars of this soup mix in the [motorhome] when we’re traveling.” She also said that if you prefer a meatier soup, add two to three cups of fully cooked ground beef crumbles; cooked and shredded chicken; or diced, cooked pot roast.
Poor Man’s Pudding
This Depression-era recipe does not include eggs. It makes sense today for camp cooks who like to leave something cooking in the Dutch oven or slow cooker while they’re out hiking or fishing. To make it as a mix, put the raisins, bread crumbs, flour, baking powder, and sugar in a plastic bag ahead of time and keep in a cool place.
1 stick butter, cut into small bits
1 cup raisins
1½ cups bread crumbs
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups milk
Grease a large tin can, metal mold, or a metal bowl that will fit inside your slow cooker and serve as a steamer. Combine the butter and dry ingredients and mix in the milk. Put in the steamer and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place into a slow cooker or Dutch oven and add boiling water halfway up the side of the steamer. Surround the Dutch oven with coals or turn the slow cooker to high and steam the pudding for two to three hours. Serve with caramel ice cream syrup, whipped topping, or light cream. This recipe makes eight to 10 dessert portions.
Rice Pilaf For Two
3/4 cup instant rice
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup water
Place all of the dry ingredients in a small plastic bag. To prepare, bring 1 cup of water to a boil; turn off the burner; stir in the contents of the bag; cover; and let stand for five to seven minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir and serve.
King Neptune Casserole
4 cups bread, cubed and dried
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/3 cup dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon dried green pepper flakes
2 teaspoons granular chicken bouillon
8 ounces cooked, cleaned shrimp, thawed
8 ounces imitation crabmeat, flaked
½ stick butter, melted
1½ cups water
Place the dry ingredients in a large plastic bag and shake to mix well. Keep in a cool place. To proceed, add the seafood to the bag, shake to mix, and put in a buttered baking dish. Drizzle with water, then the butter. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until it’s thoroughly hot. This recipe makes four servings.
Berry Breakfast Bake
8 slices white sandwich bread, cut in cubes and dried thoroughly
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup sugar
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup golden raisins
1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, cut into small squares
1½ cups milk
½ stick butter
Make sure the bread is completely dry and seal it in a bag with the cinnamon, sugar, cranberries, and raisins. Shake to mix well. When you’re ready to proceed, scatter this dry mix in a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole and dot with cream cheese. Whisk together the milk and eggs and pour over the bread mixture; dot with bits of the butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until set, as for custard. This recipe makes six to eight servings. Refrigerate any leftovers. This breakfast bake is good served warm, or cold for dessert later, or for breakfast the next day.
Roasted Root Vegetables Mix
You’ll need approximately two tablespoons of this mix plus three tablespoons of olive oil for each six-serving batch of vegetables you roast. Even if you’re a family of one or two, prepare a good-size batch each time to make best use of the oven. Leftovers warm up beautifully in the microwave oven or in a small, nonstick skillet.
½ cup dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons onion salt
2 tablespoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 cup celery seed
½ cup dried chives
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Mix all ingredients in a jar and keep tightly sealed in a cool place. To proceed, set the oven for 425 degrees and line a baking pan with nonstick foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Peel and cut six servings of root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips) into bite-size pieces and put them in a bag or bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to coat well and arrange the vegetables in the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the herb mix. Bake for 20 minutes; turn carefully to avoid tearing foil; sprinkle with another tablespoon of herb mix; and continue baking until tender.
1 16-ounce bag dried pineapple tidbits
1 16-ounce jar salted peanuts
1/3 cup celery seed
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse-ground pepper
Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor until coarsely chopped and place into a container. Keep the container tightly sealed in a cool place. To make a batch of coleslaw, place 4 cups of shredded cabbage (homemade or from a bag) into a bowl; mix in ½-cup of the dry mix; and fold in enough mayonnaise to moisten.
More Ideas For Mixes
- Create custom bread crumb mixtures for breading meat or fish, toppings, making meatballs, and so on. Make or buy plain bread crumbs and add grated dry cheese, herbs, lemon pepper, garlic salt, sesame seeds, or other savory flavors. For sweet crumb toppings, add cinnamon and brown sugar.
- Cube and dry stale bread. Divide the bread into batches suitable for your family size and add dried onion bits, chicken bouillon, dried parsley, celery salt, and crumbled sage. To make a dressing, boil water and stir in the bread mixture with a nugget of butter.
- Use your food processor to turn stale cookies into crumbs and then bag the crumbs in batches of approximately 2 cups each. Add flaked coconut, small chocolate chips, or crisp rice cereal if you like. To make a crumb crust, use a fork to stir 2 to 3 tablespoons of melted butter into the crumbs. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Allow to cool and then add pie filling.
- Custom-make your own “secret” flavored coffee recipe by adding apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, bits of peppermint stick, flaked coconut, or vanilla sugar to ground coffee. Seal tightly and keep in the refrigerator. You also can make custom creamer by adding spices, or cook up batches of simple syrup (boil 2 cups of sugar with each 1 cup of water) and add extracts such as vanilla, rum, orange, butternut, or almond. Add ½- to 1 teaspoon syrup to each cup of coffee or tea.